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Old June 29th, 2006, 02:45 AM   #81
PrintersRowBoiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NearNorthGuy
"What is irritating me is the ignorance that some people have to this development. I feel that people on this site think bigger is better and cream their pants everytime they see that a new highrise is built regardless of what it may bring to the neighborhood."

PRB, there is no better argument against you than your own words.

Just take a look at what you are writing.
I think that you are misunderstanding what I mean when I say "cream their pants." But your right, it goes both ways. I for one, do not yet have an opinoin on the building until I see everything tomorrow evening. There are few buildings that I have opposed. Chances are, I probably will personally support the project. Maybe I am playing devil's advocate. But I think it is more that people that get all crazy over supporting tall buildings just because they are tall drive me as nuts as the Nimbys that oppose the building just because it is tall.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #82
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Old June 29th, 2006, 04:11 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy
Victor,

Was your email an official communication from "South Loop Neighbors"?

My sense was that it is from the NIMBY faction only.

Please Reply!
It was sent VIA 3rd party, but from a 100% reliable person whom I trust.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 04:40 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrintersRowBoiler
Something else I don't understand is the criticism for the alderman listening to her voters. You claim all she cares about is votes. That is exactly what she should think about. She is an elected official and should listen to the residents in her ward. THat is the way the system has been set up - a democracy. The alderman should not base her decision on residents outside of her ward. Why don't we let New York residents voice their concern?
Also, many have said that this development affects everyone.
Will it add much needed homes in the South Loop? No - it may actually overinflate the market.
Will it meet the need of adding units to Michigan Avenue? No - Metropolitan Tower will be glad to sell you a unit as well as the Columbian and 1000 S Michigan (if it gets built).
Will it raise the city skyline to an upper echelon? No - it already is revered as arguably the best in the US.

I have criticisms because just because the alderman might be listening to what some of the constitutants might be saying, doesn't mean that's what's best for the city as a whole.

I think that an alderman should care more about just the votes, but how the decision also affects the city as a whole when a major project is involved. Alderman Natarus has heard people bitch and moan about highrises and developement in his ward, but that hasn't stopped him from throwing his support behind developments, including Fordham Spire...

As for overinflating the market, if the units don't sell, the building won't be built, now will it???

People in the area have complained about not having places to shop and eat in the past, well developments like this bring much needed retail and dining opportunities to the neighborhood.

Yes, this might be a neighborhood, but it is a neighborhood in an internationally recognized business district, where decisions affect more than just your 25' x 125' plot of land.

All of the arguments that I've heard also deal with height, does anyone not care about the aesthetic value of this project? I've seen more detailed renderings than what I posted and the building was beautiful. It meet the street nicely, and will extend the skyline south.

When you sit on a bag of sand, it spreads out; when you squish a building down it spreads out and become a bulk of hulking shit! don't believe me, take a drive down Madison in the West Loop area.
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Old June 29th, 2006, 04:36 PM   #85
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Old June 29th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #86
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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...ck=1&cset=true

`Vancouver-ization' moving along South Michigan Avenue

By Blair Kamin

Tribune architecture critic
Published June 29, 2006

The "Vancouver-ization" of Chicago continues, but not without questions from preservationists about how it will affect the city's famed cliff of historic buildings along Michigan Avenue.

Vancouver is known for its tall and thin residential towers, a building type that recently has found favor at City Hall. The idea, a departure from short and squat high-rises, is to create more elegant profiles and block less sunlight. It sounds simple enough, but rare is the development proposal that doesn't provoke controversy.

Questions about the latest example of the trend will be aired at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Jones College Prep, 606 S. State St. It's a proposal for an 80-story condominium tower at 830 S. Michigan Ave., developed by Oak Brook-based Renaissant Development Group and designed by the Chicago architectural firm of Pappageorge/Haymes Ltd.

The tower would rise behind the current site of an old, seven-story YWCA that is part of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, a row of buildings protected by official city landmark status that runs from Randolph Street on the north to 11th Street on the south.

Designed by John Van Osdel Ii, the nephew of pioneering Chicago architect John Mills Van Osdel and completed in 1895, the now-vacant YWCA originally served as a residential hotel that provided inexpensive lodging for traveling and self-supporting working women.

Even so, as a city report on the Michigan Avenue district points out, it offered a high-quality design, with an eclectic facade of pressed-brick, stone and terra cotta, that masked its "charitable, non-profit identity."

Triangular bays on its upper floors provided residents with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan -- the very quality that is drawing developers to remake the South Michigan area today with new high-rises.

According to James Carroll, chief financial officer for Renaissant, the facade of the YWCA will be restored, but the rest of the building will be torn down and replaced. Preservationists typically oppose such treatments, terming them a "facade-echtomy" because they save only the skin of the building.

New floors housing condominiums and mechanical equipment will be built atop the reconstructed building, said Robert Braziunas, a senior project manager for Pappageorge/Haymes. The reconstructed building also will house a spa and restaurant.

The slim condominium tower will be clad in a skin of glass and aluminum. Concrete exterior walls will "most likely not" be used, Carroll said.

Jim Peters, director of preservation planning for the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, a non-profit advocacy group, expressed concern about the proposed terraces, which would have horizontal proportions like the neighboring Johnson Publishing Co. building at 820 S. Michigan Ave.

The terraces "look kind of clumsy," he said, noting that most buildings in the Michigan Avenue district are composed of vertical forms and widely spaced windows that are "punched" into their masonry facades.

Peters also questioned whether there was anything in the building worth preserving, saying that it is one of the oldest YWCA's in the country and one of the oldest buildings in the Michigan Avenue district.

But Braziunas said the terraced look of the new floors would prevent passersby from being able to see them, at least from directly across the street. The terraces would be visible from Grant Park and Lake Shore Drive, he said. Yet he added that they are designed with an eye toward lightness and mixing in with the tower's modern design.

"The key is to keep it light and make it seem like it's not a heavy object behind the facade," he said. "That's in the spirit of the tower itself."
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Old June 30th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #87
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You know, just because it's tall doesn't mean we shouldn't push for better design. I'll reserve judgment until I see these terraces for myself, but if they do not gel with Michigan, we should try to get the developer to change it. That's the kind of community input he wants, I'm sure.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 04:03 AM   #88
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The presentation was excellent and a huge success in my opinion. The developer did a great job presenting the project with plenty of pictures, renderings and details. For the most part, Papageorge led the unveiling. They are doing a great job of preserving the YWCA and for all practial purposes, the skyscraper will be on Wabash. You can tell these developers have worked hard to coordinate with the leaders of the neighborhood to address their needs and concerns. Bob ONeill raved about the project (Grant Park guy). Many neighbors seemed content and look forward to their views looking down on the gardens on the 11th floor. A restaraunt, spa, and grocery store are included. Nearly double the required parkign is provided and also 75 public parking stalls will be provided. No variances from the zoning ordinance are being requested. I would estimate that about 2/3 of the audience supported the project based on applause and comments. There are two major concerns: the height of the building and the developer. It is a little disturbing that the developer (Barr) is in the middle of a lawsuit with another development with water problems int he building. I understand it is very ugly and peoples units are ruined and the problem still isnt fixed. The jury is still out and I will give the benefit of the doubt to the developer. Probably faulty workmanship with the contractor.
Peter Ziv DID show up. He tried to get the crowd riled up about the building being too tall. Then he started his commercial for his issues with Burnham Pointe. People started to figure out what he was getting at as he pulled out his boards from the website. People started to yell at him and and boo told him to sit down. It was GREAT (although he did receive applause from about a quarter of the audience).
The meeting ended with Alderman Haithcock speaking. As soon as she got up accusations were thrown about kickbacks from development. She did a good job of defending herself and said that this was not about what they were giving to her but what the developer was giving to the community. Many neighborhood leaders seemed to be in support. Many described how exciting it is for hte South Loop to get the kind of development they were attracting. After the meeting, I kind of eavesdropped around the front. Some of the development team talked about getting the application in based on how well-received it was.
I am very excited about this development. I did not see any of the regular SSC posters speak. I am glad that my neighbors appreciated and are accepting to this development and I appreciate that it didnt come down to people lying about who they are and where they live to support this development. Look for construction to start in Late 2007!

Also - I HATE Peter Ziv. He walked in 20 minutes late with a very arrogant swagger as he walked across the room with his Burnham Pointe boards. I think he is gaining more enemies in the South Loop now than supporters. Say YES to Polk Street Canyon!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 04:44 AM   #89
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Old June 30th, 2006, 04:47 AM   #90
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Great meeting! Nice to meet a bunch of fellow forumers tonight.

The tower was slender and elegant. There no getting around the fact that it's TALL and should set a precedent for other 800+ers south of Congress. I thought Barr and Papa George showed great care in how the tower interacts with the adjacent buildings particularly with the Crane and former Standard Oil building directly to the South. I was amazed that the tower was only to be 80 feet from east to west and 100 feet from north to south.

I took a few pics but Bvictor's digitals will be much better.

As for Ziv, he got a taste of his own medicine tonight, being shouted down not only by SSC forumers but by neighborhood residents who over wealmily supported the project.

The presentation showed that the developer had done their homework and preempted the major questions of zoning, height, scale and parking.

I my opinion there are a few minor issues to think through, they are:
1. The design of the step back on the roof of the YWCA
2. Consider having a parking exit on Wabash
3. Where and when the sales office will open!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagotom
I my opinion there are a few minor issues to think through, they are:
1. The design of the step back on the roof of the YWCA
2. Consider having a parking exit on Wabash
3. Where and when the sales office will open!
FYI - these issues WERE addressed in the meeting tonight.
1. I think the step back issue came from a leader of a preservation group who obviously stretched the rule that requires that no proposed feature of a new building be seen from the public right of way. There is a featuer on top of the YWCA building that cannot be seen from the public-right-of-way. Apparently, this guy thinks that Grant Park is public ROW (as an engineer who deals with ROW everyday, I assure you it is not).

2. Parking on Wabash is not being considered since Wabash is a pedestrian-friendly street. All parking will come off of 9th Street including truck traffic.

3. They said they could not discuss when the sales office would open because it is a whole different application process, but they said the office would be located in the building on Wabash adjacent to the property to the North.

Something else to note - there has been discussion that retail is good in the South Loop. Many of the developers are forced to add retail to their projects. Many storefronts in the South Loop sit empty and some developers lure chains like Supercuts, banks, and cell phone stores are coming in. These in my opinion add little to the neighborhood. I really appreciate that the developer is proposing a nice restaurant, spa, and grocery store to the neighborhood. Although you won't find me getting a mud bath at the spa, the grocery store will be a shorter walk than Jewel is to myself and many other neighbors.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #92
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PRB - "FYI" - I was there and felt how they addressed the set back and 9th street traffic were the weakest points to a tremendous building. As for the Sales office, I'm getting my check book out.

I also like the blue grey paint over returning it to the original brick. Even in its derelict state I think the color sets it off from everything else on Michigan Ave.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #93
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Er.. What's this trend with spas? I understand offering it as an amenity in a 4-star hotel (Waterview) but in a residential building? Are there that many people going to spas?
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Old June 30th, 2006, 07:44 AM   #94
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Old June 30th, 2006, 07:51 AM   #95
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Here's a photo of the rendering that I took tonight. I am supposed to be getting some better rendering from the PR firm in the near future.

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Old June 30th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #96
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The meeting went extremly well, with a presentation that showed the building is well within existing zoning for the site:

Allowed under existing DX-12 Zoning.....Proposed
376 units total..........................................376 Residential units

Height on Michigan Avenue- 425 feet ...........120 feet total, Current YWCA is 83

Height on Wabash- Unlimited ......................866' total for the tower

207 Parking Spaces minimum.......................404 spaces,
None required for commercial space............. plus 75 underground spaces

5 loading births required .........................6 planned, one large enough to hold a semi trailor



The second through 10th floors will form a bridge over the existing alley, which is a private alley owned by adjacent landowners. The alley will remian open to through traffic even though it does not have to be.

There will be a lush roof garden at the 11th floor setback. It will serve as the ammenity deck for residents and have an indoor and out door pool.

The tower will only have 8,000 square foot floor plates, with only 6 units per floor, which drops to 5, 4, 3, and 2 units per floor as you ascend up the tower. The slender tower will block less light and views, than wat could be put there as of right.

The tower will be setback on 9th Street to open up western views for residents of 888 South Michigan.

The crown WILL be illuminated at night to become a becaon of the South Loop.

All of these items mentioned at the meeting killed a lot of opposition, and left many of the attendees in support of the tower.

South Loop Nieghbors was there with Peter Ziv plugging his website, which had a good portion of the room heckeling him to sit down. SLN was the only group to stand in opposition to the project as planned, all of the other NIMBY concerns were the typical stuff like traffic and setting a precident for the area.

Ald. Heithcock has turned 180 degrees, and completly supports the project and has adivised residents the South Loop is changing for the better, Wabash is becoming a great street with beautiful landscaping which other cities don't even attempt and that more projects of this scale are comming this way in the future.

One of the NIMBYs shouted to her if she gets paid off by developers as much as Naturas.

It looks like this one is a go for the approval route. They expect construction in thid quarter 2007 and completion in 2009.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #97
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Thanks BVic for the rendering and Shawn for reporting the details of the meeting. I was unable to attend but was anxious to know how it went. It's great to hear that this beauty will likely be approved! It will have such a transformative impact on the skyline. The typical post-card shot of the skyline will be dramatically altered for the better.

My list of buildings I'd most like to see built:
1) Fordham Spire
2) Aqua
3) 830 S. Michigan
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Old June 30th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #98
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The building does have a slight resemblance to Comcast Center in Philadelphia... must be the lantern on top. Two thumbs up!
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Old June 30th, 2006, 04:19 PM   #99
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So the Park Mich's heigh is 866'. That will make it as the tallest all-residential building in Chicago.
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Old June 30th, 2006, 04:24 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn
South Loop Nieghbors was there with Peter Ziv plugging his website, which had a good portion of the room heckeling him to sit down. SLN was the only group to stand in opposition to the project as planned, all of the other NIMBY concerns were the typical stuff like traffic and setting a precident for the area.
I don't think Peter Ziv is part of South Loop Neighbors. IF he is, he certainly is not part of the board and I would not say his comments reflect the group. The only comments I would take from SLN were the comments from Paulette Boyd, the president. She opposes the building because of the height, but typically she is not the one to make the stance of the group for developments - they have a committee that typically does. Plus she is stepping down soon.
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